The population of India was 1.311 billion in 2015, according to an estimate from the United Nations, making it the second most populated country in the world after China. But, as early as in 2022, the population of India is widely expected to surpass that of China to make India the most populous country in the world. Even now India contributes twice as much as China to global population growth. By 2050, the Population Division of the UN expects India population to exceed 1.62 billion people.

According to the 2011 census data, the most populous Indian state is Uttar Pradesh with population of roughly 200 million. To put this into context, Uttar Pradesh's population is nearly equal to that of the world's fifth most populous country: Brazil's population in 2015 was estimated at 208 million. And, the examples can go on. The second most populous Indian state, Maharashtra, has a population roughly the same as the population of Mexico.

The main factors behind the rapid population growth in India are high fertility, illiteracy, poverty and immigration from Nepal and Bangladesh. Though the fertility rate in India is decreasing slowly, it is still above 2.1 births per woman that, when combined with low a low national mortality rate, results in each new generation being more populous than the previous one.

Cohesive population policy is needed for India to bring the rate of population growth under control. However, it would be difficult to implement a family planning program with similar effectiveness as China’s “One-Child Policy” in India due to the high level of heterogeneity of its population: numerous ethnic groups, religions and languages coexist in this country.

Despite population problems, India is rapidly increasing in economic power and has high future potential. By some estimates, the GDP per capita in India will increase by 37 percent by 2020, helping support this booming population.

See also: When Will India Have More Population than China?

China Population India Population USA Population Indonesia Population Brazil Population  World Population
Pakistan Population Nigeria Population Bangladesh Population Russia Population Japan Population  World Population Ranking

Coronavirus Data and Insights

Live data and insights on Coronavirus around the world, including detailed statistics for the US, EU, and China — confirmed and recovered cases, deaths, alternative data on economic activities, customer behavior, supply chains, and more.

Related Insights from Knoema

When will India have more people than China?

The population of China currently exceeds the population of India by approximately 70 million, according to estimates from the United Nations. The UN's World Population Prospects report puts the population of China at 1.38 billion, compared to 1.31 billion for India. Other sources' estimates of current population range from 1.37 to 1.40 billion for China and from 1.28 to 1.31 billion for India. Just as current population estimates differ, so do forecasts as to when the difference in the population between the two countries will level off. According to the United Nations',...

US Population

United States of America is the third most populous country in the world trailing only China and India with current population of 321.8 million persons or 4% of the total world's population. Moreover, US is one of only two developed economies (the second is Japan) being listed in top-10 countries by population. Large population and correspondingly large workforce are not the least factors behind the leading positions of United States in the world economy.United States, as the major part of developed world, refer to the low-fertility countries where each woman gives, on average,...

Pakistan Population | Data and Charts, 1900-2013

The current population of Pakistan is 182,1 million people. Starting from 1960 total fertility rate in Pakistan fell by one half from 6.6 to 3.3, which means that today, on average, every woman gives birth to 3 children while half a century ago this figure was twice as large. Population division of the UN expects Pakistan population to exceed 270 million people in 2050.